MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47), German composer. He was born Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Hamburg, son of a banker. He was considered a child prodigy - he studied piano from the age of six, made his first concert appearance at the age of nine and started composing at the age of twelve. His first symphony, the C minor Opus 11, was completed when he was just 15. Essentially conservative in style, Mendelssohn's compositions are now among the most popular of the Romantic era. Numbering more than 750, these include the incidental music to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" including the famous wedding march (1842), the Scottish Symphony (1829-42), the Italian Symphony (1833) and the Violin Concerto in E minor (1844). He also founded a major music school, the Leipzig Conservatory, in 1843. He died following a series of strokes in Leipzig at the age of just 38.
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